23 Best Days trips from Adelaide : for both locals & first time visitors

Adelaide, South Australia, is one of the best cities to visit in Australia. Unlike Melbourne and Sydney, Adelaide kept this small town feel while still offering all the perks of a big city.

When it comes to day trips from Adelaide, you will be spoilt for choice!

The capital of SA is surrounded by beautiful mountains, cute towns, wineries and beaches.

Whether you are visiting for the first time or a local, you’ll love all these Adelaide day trips!

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Barossa Valley

Distance from Adelaide: 75 km, 1h drive.

We can’t spend too much time avoiding some of the best wine regions Australia has to offer, and taking one of the day trips from Adelaide to Barossa Valley will certainly not disappoint any budding wine connoisseur.

The area encompasses an array of high-profile wineries offering tours and even cellar-door tastings.

You will notice that Shiraz grapes are the local speciality and they produce some spectacular wines across the whole region.

Also for any eagle-eyed amongst you, the Valley has quaint stone cottages and Lutheran churches throughout which is a testament to some of the German history and heritage in the region. 

Here are a few things to do in the Barossa Valley:

  • Eating lunch in one of the local farms.
  • Wine tasting in one of the fantastic wineries.
  • Hot balloon ride. See prices here.
  • Angaston Heritage Walk.
  • Barossa Heritage Trail.

HOW TO GET THERE: If you have a car, you can easily drive there from Adelaide and do a mini road trip for the day. It takes about 1 hour to get there.

Alternatively, you can opt for a day tour from Adelaide that includes wine tastings and lunch. Click here to see the latest prices.

Kangaroo Island

remarkable rocks KI

Distance from Adelaide: 127 km, 3h drive.

Located in the southern part of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is one of the most beautiful islands in Australia.

Although it is recommended to spend a few days there, you can also visit it on a day trip.

Kangaroo Island is home to fantastic natural landmarks, amazing wineries and incredible wildlife. Perfect for outdoor lovers and foodies!

Here are a few things you can do on KI:

  • Visiting Flinders Chase National Park and discovering the stunning Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.
  • Biking in the sand in Little Sahara. See prices.
  • Relaxing on the beautiful beaches of KI.
  • Seeing koalas and other Australian-native animals at the wildlife park.

HOW TO GET THERE: You can get to Kangaroo Island by car (with the ferry), plane or with a tour. If you are only going for a day, it’s highly recommended to opt for a day tour.

The ferry is quite expensive and it will work out more expensive if you just go for a day. Flying is quick (30 minutes) however, you’ll have to rent a car once you get there. All in all, the day tours for Adelaide are great value for money and will allow you to make the best of your day.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Mount Lofty

Distance from Adelaide: 28 km, 40 minutes drive.

We can’t be talking about trips from Adelaide without mentioning the Mount Loft Ranges.

These extensive hills are on the border of Adelaide and are predominant in the South Australia peninsula.

Here you will find amazing treks, breathtaking views from the top, and even a family-run vineyard nestled amongst the hills. This location is one not to be missed.

However, part of the Mount Lofty Ranges in the Adelaide Hills, which border the eastern side of the city.

Here are a few things you can do near Mount Lofty:

  • Hiking up Mount Lofty Summit. See prices from Adelaide.
  • Visiting Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
  • Visiting Cleland Wildlife Park. You can either book on their website or opt for a day tour from Adelaide that includes the wildlife park. See prices here.
  • Go on a descent bike tour of Mount Lofty. See prices here.

HOW TO GET THERE: It’s very easy to get to Mount Lofty by car from Adelaide. It only takes 40 minutes.

You can also choose to go on a day tour from Adelaide which includes both Mount Loft Summit and Cleland Wildlife park.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Adelaide Hills

Distance from Adelaide: 31 km, 45 minutes drive.

A part of the Mount Lofty Ranges is the Adelaide Hills. They are to the east of Adelaide.

If you are hoping for Adelaide Hills day trips, then there are plenty of things you can do whilst there.

It has a rugged landscape full of charm, described as the fairytale close to Adelaide.

Within an hour’s drive from the city, you can be in the rural setting that has a fantastic wine region, beautiful local produce, hikes and trekking trails, and plenty of places to eat and drink.

There may even be a wildlife encounter or two as this location does take you back to nature.

Here are a few examples of things you can do in the Adelaide Hills:

  • Wine tasting. Although it’s not the most famous wine region in SA, you’ll still find some amazing vineyard there.
  • Fruit picking in one of the local farms.
  • Biking and hiking.
  • Zip lining in Piccadilly. See prices here.
  • Visiting the cute towns of Stirling and Hahndorf.

You can also go to Mount Lofty if you want to. Everything can be done in a day but it is easy to spend the entire day out in the Adelaide Hills.

If you are a visitor, you may want to combine all these places. If you are a local, they can be separate day trips.

HOW TO GET THERE: It’s super easy to get to the Adelaide Hills by car. It only takes 45 minutes. Having your own vehicle will allow you to go at your own pace.

If you are visiting Adelaide or want to opt for a stress-free option, you can book a day tour from Adelaide. It includes the Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Victor Harbor and Granite Island

Distance from Adelaide: 84 km, 1h10 drive.

Victor Harbor is a quaint coastal town with plenty of things to do. You can climb aboard a heritage steam train or explore the rugged landscapes along the Murray River.

But one thing it is known for mostly is the opportunity to take a horse-drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island where there is a beautiful recreation park.

On the island, you will find a wild penguin colony and you could even do a spot of whale watching.

It’s also a great place to go on a short cruise to Seal Island and Wright Island. You’ll get to see seals, sea lions and dolphins! Click here to see the latest prices.

If you are more the active type, then the Kaiki walking trail could be the option for you. Giving you the chance to see the island in all its glory on this 2.9km walk.

HOW TO GET THERE: Victor Harbor is located 85 km south of Adelaide. If you are driving, it will take you a bit over an hour to get there.

Another option is to book a day tour that includes both McLaren Vale and Victor Harbor.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Port Eliott

Distance from Adelaide: 81 km, 1 h 10 drive.

One of the great day trips from Adelaide would be to take a trip to Port Elliott. A small town with a big heart and plenty of things to see and do.

If you love a good beach then the small and delectable horseshoe bay will be the place to go.

If walking is more your scene then there is a great maritime heritage trail that you can enjoy.

Closeby to the bay is a small island called Pullen Island which is a protected area. Encounter Bay is a larger beach than Horseshoe Bay and is home to a colony of Penguins.

For any nature loves, the area is full of things to see and observe. 

Goolwa

Distance from Adelaide: 83 km, 1 h 10 drive.

If you are looking for one of the best day trips from Adelaide has to be a trip to Goolwa.

The name “Goolwa” means “elbow” in Ngarrindjeri. Known as that through the local Aboriginal language, and the area was known as “The Elbow” to the early settlers.

There is a real Aboriginal feel to this location, so for any history buffs, this will be your scene.

Goolwa is a historic port along the Murray River close to the river mouth.

It is joined by a bridge to Hindmarsh Island.

The Goolwa Barrage is a pleasant walk along the river and there is a lot of information about the history and the workings of the waterworks and connections of the River Murray. 

Strathalbyn

Distance from Adelaide: 55 km, 55 minutes drive.

If you are hoping to explore beyond Adelaide then one of the most striking self-drive day trips from Adelaide would be a trip to Strathalbyn.

This picturesque town is full of hidden gems, especially antique stores. You will be able to browse the shop windows and boutiques before wanting to enjoy a nice beverage and spot of lunch in one of the many restaurants and bars.

A great day trip out if you are hoping to witness what life in South Australia can be like. Not only do you have the bustling antique shops but there are extensive gardens and parkland where you can enjoy a relaxing walk. 

McLaren Vale

Distance from Adelaide: 40 km, 40 min drive.

Something a little further out, around 40 km outside of Adelaide, you will find Mclaren Vale. What this place is usually noted for is the wine vineyards.

Mclaren Vale is a very well-known wine region in Australia and is best known for the shiraz.

Why not sample some of the best the region has to offer?

If you are not a wine lover, this place can still offer you plenty of walking trails and glorious beaches ready for you to explore.

Not to mention the fabulous markets where you can pick up some amazing local produce. A great day out if you are looking for something a little different. 

Normanville Beach

Distance from Adelaide: 77 km, 1 h 10 drive.

If you want a beach that is a little more unique then Normanville is the place to go. This location could be a great one to consider if you are looking for family day trips from Adelaide.

If any of the family are keen on fishing, then Normanville Beach offers some of the best shore fishing around.

With the Normanbville jetty and the Pontoon for swimmers, it is a great location for a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Adelaide.

It is also a patrolled beach during the spring and summer season, which gives the whole family peace of mind. 

Mannum

Distance from Adelaide: 99 km, 1 h 15 drive.

Another location perfect for history lovers would be the old-world town of Mannum. Sat on the west bank of the Murray River.

From Mannum, it is the perfect spot to take a day cruise along with the River Murray, giving you an alternative view of the town and other locations along the way.

However, for the more adventurous amongst you, you can take a trek to find the Mannum waterfalls.

With beautiful scenery around it, this walk will not disappoint.

As it has a historical background, the dock museum is filled with information and facts about the Murray River and the town itself. One of the ones to add to the list if you are looking for day trips from Adelaide by car. 

Murray Bridge

Distance from Adelaide: 74 km, 55 min drive.

One of the longer trips from Adelaide would be to Murray Bridge.

It is 80km away from the capital city of Adelaide, but well worth the trip if you are looking for something a little different. This location is perfect for any water sports fans.

The Murray River is the perfect backdrop for anybody who loves to be out on the water.

Or if you want to take the more relaxed approach then jumping on a paddleboat or embarking on a houseboat for a few hours, could be the way to do it.

This place has a real sense of slowing down, a stark difference from the busyness you expect in Adelaide. 

Clare Valley

Distance from Adelaide: 143 km, 1 h 50 drive.

If you are looking for locations that are the ideal day drives from Adelaide then add Clare Valley to your list. It is the river valley formed by the Hutt River.

There are also strong associations with the roughly parallel Hill River.

Here you will find heritage towns, bespoke trails, boutique wineries, museums, galleries and to top it all off, stunning scenery.

The Clare Valley is a hidden gem in South Australia. It is an escape that is full of charm with rolling countryside and plenty to see and do, there is romance and magic to be found here. 

Burra

Distance from Adelaide: 164 km, 2 h drive.

Lying east of the Clare Valley, in the Bald Hills range, you will find Burra. A hidden escape but a well-deserving location on the list.

Another option if you are looking for self-drive day trips from Adelaide to enjoy on your holiday in South Australia.

Rich in mining history, this town has been described as the “Historic Copper Town and the Merino Capital of the World.” having only been recognised as its own townscape since 1940, it has since been declared as a state heritage town since 1994.

Full of nods to the mining history, there is plenty to see and do here as you can easily get lost in the stories. 

Cleland

Distance from Adelaide: 10 km, 20 minutes drive.

If you are hoping for the day trip from Adelaide that won’t take up too much journey time the Cleland could be one to consider.

Less than twenty minutes in the car, and you can be here, ready to embrace one of the best attractions in the area. The Cleland Wildlife Park.

This is one of the best days out from Adelaide with kids.

Whether you want to enjoy a close-up with Koala or experience one of the popular night walks, this could be a great thing for you to consider.

The wildlife has park has a few animal enclosures and different experiences you can have, but you can also wander around the park and perhaps witness some of the animals in their natural habitats.

Being so close to Adelaide this is a day trip not to be missed. 

Lake Alexandrina

Distance from Adelaide: 85 km, 1 h 05 drive.

Lake Alexandrina is a coastal freshwater lake. You will find it located between the Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island and Murray and Mallee regions of South Australia.

It is about 100 kilometers southeast of Adelaide. It is another one of the day drives from Adelaide you might want to consider.

It is described as a hidden gem, with the beautiful surrounding scenery.

A spectacular example of wetlands brimming with wildlife, gentle waters primed for adventure, and the rich culture of the Aboriginal people.

If you love anything to do with the water, here you can experience great fishing, boating, and water skiing to name a few. 

It’s also one of the best places in Australia to go skydiving!

Hahndorf

Distance from Adelaide: 25 km, 30 minutes drive.

A location that has something for everyone, Hahndorf is a day trip from Adelaide with a difference.

Known for its original German-style architecture and artisanal food, this place has some excellent links back to the German history of early settlers.

This charming town is also close to the Adelaide Hills, so you can combine a trip here with embracing the stunning wineries in the region.

North of town, the Cedars houses the studio, and the art of German-born landscape painter Sir Hans Heysen is on display. 

Coorong National Park

Distance from Adelaide: 200 km, 2 h 20 drive.

One of the locations that is a little further away from other places we have shared is the Coorong National Park.

Around 156km away from the city, it is a self-drive day trip from Adelaide that may require a little planning before you get there. But worthy of the journey, nonetheless.

The Coorong National Park predominantly covers a lagoon ecosystem. There are plenty of national parks and wildlife experiences on offer here, so if you love to be close to nature, then this is one of the places to add to your list. 

Deep Creek Conservation Park

Distance from Adelaide: 105 km, 1 h 30 drive.

One of the best locations to consider if you are interested in bushwalks and trails, the Deep Creek Conservation Park is one of the best day trips from Adelaide for people who love to be outdoors.

Deep Creek Conservation Park is the largest portion of the remaining natural vegetation. You will find it on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

The Deep Creek Conservation Park is home to an array of native wildlife such as western grey kangaroos. There are a total of 15 walking trails that you can enjoy, and along the way, you never know what you might encounter.

The breathtaking views and scenery just adds to the experience. 

Port Wakefield

Distance from Adelaide: 100 km, 1 h 15 drive.

Port Wakefield is a town that you will find at the mouth of the River Wakefield. A lovely little place and a great option to consider if you are looking for Adelaide day trips.

Here you will find plenty of walking opportunities with beautiful scenic trails. As well as being able to visit the port Wakefield wharf and the Heritage museum.

This place is a cute little town, just over an hour away from the city of Adelaide. If you are a bit more adventurous, while you are here you could take a dip in the vintage outdoor freshwater pools.

The Tidal Pool is the perfect place to cool off. 

Wallaroo

Distance from Adelaide: 160 km, 2 h drive.

Another port town to add to your list would be Wallaroom, and at over 160km distance away from Adelaide, this is another one to add to your list of day drives from Adelaide.

This location is famous for its kite surfing opportunities, with a kite surfing school offering lessons and tryouts while you are there.

There is also a heritage museum and heritage trail that will give you all of the best things to see and do in the area while giving you the opportunity to learn some of the history. 

Mount Crawford Forest

Distance from Adelaide: 35 km, 45 min drive.

Another fantastic option for anybody who loves to be close to nature is Mount Crawford Forest. Especially if you are interested in walking and hiking.

Online you will find some of the best walking trails to do while you are there, but it isn’t just the walks that will entice you here.

There is spectacular scenery and untouched forest that spreads as far as the eye can see. If you like to be amongst rugged terrain then this is the place for you.

Only a 45 minute drive away will have you in the depths of the forest, and there are even camping facilities for the more adventurous amongst you. 

Morialta Conservation Park

Distance from Adelaide: 10 km, 20 min drive.

Last of all, we have another protected area and conservation park, and sitting only 10km north-east of Adelaide, one that won’t take you too long to get to, is the Morialta Conservation Park.

An excellent day trip from Adelaide, it has been a well-loved recreational escape for over 100 years. You can explore the creeks, the gorges, and find some of the stunning waterfalls in the vicinity.

Whether you visit in the spring and summer where the wildflowers are in full bloom or the winter when the waterfalls will be at their strongest, you won’t be disappointed. 

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